The Urbanworld Film Festival Presented By BET Networks With Founding Sponsor HBO Announces 2014 Festival Slate

The 18th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival (, presented by BET Networks with founding sponsor HBO, today announced the majority of the films that will be showcased. The nation’s largest competitive multicultural film festival will take place September 17-21, 2014 at Manhattan's AMC Loews 34th Street 14, and various other locations in New York. The festival will screen over 70 films, including 12 world premieres.

Relativity's Beyond the Lights, a drama written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood ( Love and Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees) and produced by Relativity, Relativity Sports, Undisputed Cinema and Homegrown Pictures in association with BET Films, to serve as the opening film at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 18 at the SVA Theater at 333 W. 23rd Street. The story of a talented young musician on the brink of super stardom struggling with the pressure of her new-found success stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw ( Belle, Larry Crowne), Nate Parker ( Red Tails, The Great Debaters), Minnie Driver ( Good Will Hunting) and Emmy Award® nominee Danny Glover ( The Color Purple, Lethal Weapon). The film opens nationwide on November 14, 2014. Prince-Bythewood, a longtime supporter of the festival and Independent Spirit Award® winner, is the ambassador for this year’s festivities.

BET returns for the seventh year as presenting sponsor and will again sponsor the Screenplay Award category. “Urbanworld Film Festival continues to position itself as an impactful platform for screenwriters, producers and directors of diverse backgrounds,” said Loretha Jones, President of Original Programming, BET. “BET understands the importance of supporting and empowering the talent in our communities, so we strongly value our relationship with Urbanworld Film Festival - a launching pad for those passionate about creating compelling art.”

Additional highlights of the festival include HBO Latino’s screening of Habla Men, the newest installment of its originally produced award-winning Habla series on what it means to be Latino in the United States. Urbanworld Underground, a platform that debuted in 2013 to highlight and encourage maverick content creators who are transcending conventional filmmaking with innovative storytelling, will also be a highlight of the five day event. Founded by filmmaker and media scholar, Artel Great, Project Catalyst, Urbanworld Underground’s collaborating curator, is an innovative transmedia platform that combines cinema with visual art, music, and technology to showcase fresh humanistic storytelling from multicultural perspectives.

“Our 2014 film slate reflects the significance and esteem the festival has achieved over the past 17 years. As the largest multicultural festival, we continue to strive to make Urbanworld 'THE' destination for filmmakers and studios to connect with a diverse movie-going audience," said Gabrielle Glore, Executive Producer and Head of Programming, Urbanworld. "This year, we are excited to add an even deeper variety of international films, as well as content that targets the Latino community. With BET and HBO as our partners, we are able to continue to highlight stories that the world needs to see.”


Beyond the Lights – Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (USA) – US Premiere

Avenues - Directed by Aaref Rodriguez (USA) - Hosted by HBO Latino
Blood and Bone - Directed by Ben Ramsey (USA) - Hosted by Cinemax - Curated by Urban Action Showcase
Habla Men - Hosted by HBO Latino
Purple Rain - Directed by Albert Magnoli (USA) - 30th Anniversary Sing-A-Long
Sleep Dealer – Directed by Alex Rivera (Mexico) - Hosted by The National Association of Latino Independent Producers
Urbanworld Underground - Curated by Project Catalyst

• Jo – Directed by April A. Wilson (USA)

• La Solitaria – Directed by Nelson Isava (USA)

• Page 36 – Directed by Nelsan Ellis (USA)

• The Unseen Beauty – Directed by Gabriel de Urioste (USA)

• Touch – Directed by Shola Amoo (United Kingdom)

• Trust & Estates – Directed by Jeanette Bonds (USA)

Brooklyn – Directed by Pascal Tessaud (France) - US Premiere
Christmas Wedding Baby – Directed by Kiara Jones (USA) - World Premiere
Cry Now – Directed by Alberto Barboza (USA) - New York Premiere
Difret – Directed by Zeresenay Berhane Mehari (Ethiopia)
God Loves The Fighter – Directed by Damian Marcano (Trinidad & Tobago) - New York Premiere
In the Morning – Directed by Nefertite Nguvu (USA) - World Premiere
Lake Los Angeles – Directed by Mike Ott (USA) - New York Premiere
Los Angeles – Directed by Damian John Harper (Mexico) - New York Premiere
Love Magical – Directed by Justin Foran & Jason Sokoloff - World Premiere
Montana – Directed by Mo Ali Out of Comp (UK) - US Premiere
Night Has Settled – Directed by Steve Clark (USA)
Unsound – Directed by Darious Britt (USA)
What It Was – Directed by Daniel Armando (USA)

12 Months – Charysse Tia Harper (USA) - World Premiere
Finding Samuel Lowe – Directed by Jeanette Kong (USA)
Hating Obama – Directed by Marquis Smalls (USA) - World Premiere
Lucky – Directed by Laura Checkoway (USA)
Sewing Hope – Directed by Derek Watson (Uganda) - New York Premiere 3

SODIQ – Directed by Adeyemi Michael (UK)
The Hip-Hop Fellow – Directed by Kenneth Price (USA) - New York Premiere

Bookin – Directed by John Kerkscey (USA)

Nine - Directed by Wanichaya Phraejunya & Chawalit Kaewmanee (Thailand)

Afronauts – Directed by Frances Bodomo (USA)
Anatomy of Assistance – Directed by Cory Bowles (Canada) - New York Premiere
Barrio Boy – Directed by Dennis Shinners (USA)
Berea – Directed by Vincent Moloi (South Africa) - East Coast Premiere
Celluloid Dreams – Directed by Jonathan Dillon (USA) - New York Premiere
Contamination – Directed by R. Shanea Williams (USA) - New York Premiere
ContentMode x J. Cooper Present “206” Starring David Oyelowo – Directed by J. Cooper (USA)
For The Birds – Directed by Tara Atashgah (USA/Iran)
Full-Windsor – Directed by Faraday Okoro (USA) - New York Premiere
Habeas Corpus – Directed by Booker T. Mattison (USA) - New York Premiere
Hechki (Hiccups) – Directed by Kartik Singh (USA) - World Premiere
Hermanas – Directed by Cristina Kotz Cornejo (Mexico) - East Coast Premiere
Hypebeasts – Directed by Jessica dela Merced (USA)
Isaiah’s Birthday – Directed by Shawn Gerrard (Canada) - World Premiere
J-1 – Directed by Geoffrey Guerrero (USA)
Jaya – Directed by Puja Maewal (India) - New York Premiere
Jenny & Lalo – Directed by Janine Salinas Schoenberg (USA) - East Coast Premiere
L’Autre Feme – Directed by marie KA (Senegal) - East Coast Premiere
Midday Crisis – Directed by Jeff Man (USA) - New York Premiere
Milk & Honey – Directed by Daniel Pfeffer (USA)
Missing Grandma – Directed by Adel L. Morales (USA) - World Premiere
Muted – Directed by Rachel Goldberg (USA)
One Past – Directed by Juli S. Kobayashi (USA) - World Premiere
Pitahaya – Directed by Albert Espinosa (Spain) - New York Premiere
Present Trauma – Directed by Mark D. Manalo (USA) - East Coast Premiere
Serena Strong – Directed by Philiane Phang (USA) - World Premiere
Seventh Grade – Directed by Stefani Saintoge (USA)
Silencio Chino – Directed by Javier Melero De Luca (Venezuela) - US Premiere
Sketch – Directed by Stephen T. Barton (USA) - New York Premiere
Strings Attached – Directed by Nelcie Souffrant (USA) - New York Premiere
The Bravest, The Boldest – Directed by Moon molson (USA) - New York Premiere
The End Again – Directed by Crystle C. Roberson (USA) - New York Premiere
Tobacco Burn – Directed by Justin Liberman (USA) - New York Premiere
Tonsure – Directed by Fred Bumaye (USA) - World Premiere
Woman In Fragments – Directed by Qun Xhou (USA/China/Japan) - New York Premiere
Your Love – Directed by Laila Petrone (USA) - World Premiere
You’re Dead To Me – Directed by Wu Tsang (USA) - New York Premiere 4

Additional titles will be announced in September on


The Urbanworld® Film Festival, founded in 1997 by Stacy Spikes, is the largest internationally competitive festival of its kind. The five-day festival includes narrative features, documentaries, short films, spotlight screenings, events, live staged screenplay readings, the Urbanworld® Digital track focused on digital and social media panels and workshops and Urbanworld Music, which highlights emerging talent in live performances during after party events. Over the last 18 years, Hollywood studios, indie film distributors, and established and emerging filmmakers have consistently chosen Urbanworld® to premiere box office and award-winning hits. Urbanworld® has also provided a platform for some of today's leading brands seeking to reach key influencers across the industry and within the consumer marketplace. The Urbanworld® Film Festival is an initiative of the Urbanworld® Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization that endeavors to consistently manifest its mission of redefining and advancing the presence and impact of the multicultural community in cinema and cross-platform media. By implementing initiatives that actively support and develop content creators of color, Urbanworld significantly contributes to the evolution of the media and entertainment landscape and the diversity that it reflects. Gabrielle Glore serves as Executive Producer & Head of Programming for the Urbanworld Film Festival. The festival website is


BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions:, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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